Cheap Ideas are Cheapest to Create

I had 2 lunches today. The second lunch was reinvigorating. The venue was at Hillside Canteen Kompas Gramedia. Cheeky name ain’t it for a well known amazing transit hotel near TB Simatupang. I guess all the creative energy was spent wisely.

As always, when you talk and talk, you forget which a leads to b and c and so on and so forth. Basically the talk was about Durex “Fundawear”. If you don’t know about it, get to know, takes flirting to a new level.

Here’s a video for the curious mind.

Anyway, as we were talking, I searched for vibrator apps on Google Play Store. To our surprise, the needy have a lot of virtual vibrators to choose from. There are even some apps that will let you create your own vibrating pattern and share them with other users. It’s crazy, the most downloaded app had 1+ million downloads and it’s still growing. The other crappy apps, ones that are painful from a UI perspective but paid apps nonetheless got around 500-1000 downloads for US$ 3.96 a download. That’s around US$ 2000-4000 for a 189 KB application.

No matter how painful the UI, this particular case got away with amazing UX I guess. I mean people spend money for a really straightforward crappy UI yet intense in UX pleasure. There’s a market there.

Back to some technicalities, the most downloaded app I suspect was built with Appcelerator Titanium framework. The download size was ~15 MB and when installed, it runs sluggishly even on a Nexus 4. Again, this app is fugly with its UI/X strategies but it managed to won over 1 million human beings basic needs. That’s when I thought that cheap ideas are cheapest to create.

When you allow yourself to do apps that are feature heavy or technical heavy, the heavier the tasks, it’s actually the more alienating the end result for the general population. I’m speculating here so follow on for a bit. It will mostly change how we naturally spend our lives.

Apps with at least 100 millions downloads or nearing are actually apps that are extensions of what we do naturally. Facebook is how we connect and get social with others or Google Maps is well it’s a map. Here are some more examples:

  • Whatsapp, Line, Kakao Talk, Wechat - need I say more?
  • Twitter - for Indonesians, it’s bitchin 2.0
  • Instagram - photos, pictures, filtered and good looking

Arguments might arise that cheap ideas does not equal cheap executions and I whole heartedly agree. My point here is the cheaper the idea, the easier it is for human beings to digest and ultimately include it on their daily lives. It’s just plain worldwide awareness of how it is we are as human beings.

So as I said before, I’m on the lookout to just create things. Whether it’s a mobile app or a website, that’s just means to an end. But especially learning from today, most importantly I want to create the cheapest ideas into products. Ideas that me and the rest of the population can relate with so I’ll have common expectations shared among the population towards the end product.

I’m still cooking but it’s great that nowadays development tools are enabling me to create prototypes and also products faster than figuring out what the product will do. Hacking ideas while coding is really fun, it’s repetitive in some cases but the lessons are invaluable. You can’t know exactly everything at the beginning, I prefer to get dirty first, clean up later (if necessary).

Full lunches, fun talks and a good night sleep to wrap it all up. Cheers!